I subscribe to a lot of emails, so I pay close attention to my inbox. And what I'm noticing lately is the sheer amount of garbage people are writing in their emails. I get a 5-10 paragraph introduction before I finally get to the gist of their email…IF they hold on to me that long.
If I have to scroll more than three times in your email, you probably should have saved that for a blog post.
[clickToTweet tweet=”If I must scroll more than 3x in your email, it should've been a #blogpost instead.” quote=”If I have to scroll more than 3x in your email, it should have been a #blogpost instead.”]
Email vs. blog post
First, let's identify an email vs. a blog post. An email is either a broadcast or automation–plain and simple. A broadcast email is one that you just send out to your lists on a regular basis. It might include products, specials, giveaways, spotlights, blog posts, etc. An automated email, on the other hand, is a series of automations (or emails) that are triggered by an action. For example, you can visit my post on 7 Actionable Steps for a Better Brand eCourse. When you sign up, you trigger a series of 7 emails that I have strategically written and planned a particular delivery method for (automation). Automations typically have a CTA (call-to-action) that entices someone to cough up their email address. Once that automation is completed, I have another trigger established to move those emails into a different list so I keep them until they decide to unsubscribe (but why would they want to do that?). Today, we're going to discuss broadcast emails.
Blog posts are a bit more complex. Initially, a “blog” was something you set up online to journal about your life or some other topic of personal interest. When businesses came along, they started including blogs on their website that included press releases and articles and such about topics that were important to their business. Many an entrepreneur today is using the blogging platform, but they often blur the lines between journaling and profiting. A quick search on “food blog” brought me to a blogger who was writing about a chicken and veggie lasagna recipe that started out with a story about her and her significant other going mini golfing. And oh–did she like mini golfing. The correlation between her recipe and mini golfing? The green vegetables reminded her of a manicured golf green.
Ultimately, blogging is longer; emails are not.
6 things you can implement now to turn your broadcast email marketing on its head
1. Have at least 3 consistent ideas for every broadcast email
Doing things in 3s is a great rule of thumb for any marketing endeavor. I always tell people that if they don't try it 3 times, they can't know for certain if it worked or not! Make yourself a list of 6ish things that you could ALWAYS include in a broadcast email that goes out on a regular basis. This gives your reader something to look forward to in each email so you can guarantee an open! My camera store client is a perfect example:
- Photo tip relevant to the season
- Product spotlight
- Most recent blog post (or refresh an old one that works with the current season)
- Photo event/class
These ideas are general enough that they can always be more specific each month we send and email blast out to our general list. Voila–consistency!
2. Don't always hard sell
Social media has been infiltrated with advertising, so stop hard selling to people in every email. Notice I said hard sell. If you can soft sell to someone–meaning get them interested in the educational component of something–that's a different story. You can sell without people realizing they are being sold to if you craft your content right! For example:
Your camera just not doing what you want it to? Check out our handy list of features every photographer should be using!
Your readers then click on a link and download a feature list that perhaps has an automation to a 10% off coupon for their next camera purchase. Find your customer's need, fill it with some free education, and then offer them the up-sell.
3. Don't send a broadcast email to the same list more than once a week
Unless you're trying to remind your customers about an ending promotion, don't send more than one broadcast email to the same list each week. I will guarantee that your open rates will sink, as will your subscriber counts. This brings me to another idea: be clear with how many emails you'll be sending each month for new subscribers. If they are on your General list, tell them you send emails 4-6 times each month (or less if that is how you are structured!). Not only is it common courtesy, but if someone is on the fence about signing up for your emails, this might encourage them!
4. Send Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday
These are the best days for sending emails because they have the best open rates! Think about it–Monday is what I refer to as “mass execution of the inbox” day, and Friday is a common day for people to take off of work. I also like the 7 a.m. send time–being the first one in the inbox when they open it in the morning!
5. Link to your site using teasers to get readers to click
Remember my beef with the 7 scroll email? Don't give them everything in the email–tease them into reading more on your website. Make it sound so amazingly awesome that they have to read more! This will also help you learn what calls-to-action work better and which do not.
6. Offer segment options
If we go back to my camera store client, we can quickly understand that they probably don't just sell one brand of camera. They sell Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Fujifilm…so why not offer segments/groups that customers can subscribe to for specific manufacturer products or savings? In my experience, segmented lists like this garner far better open and click-through rates than general lists do! Just remember, though, that you'll be sending out more emails. But when you start making more sales, it will be worth it!
Do you have any ideas that work for broadcast emails? Share them in the comments below! We'd love to hear them and share them with others!